Have you ever thought of making YouTube videos without needing to bring cameras, lights, stands, microphones, and whatever else wherever you go?
Some people think that you need all this equipment to make great content, but you already have an amazing piece of gear in your pocket: your smartphone.
Smartphones have become so advanced in the last few years that you can now make full-length video content with them.
The video quality is higher than ever before and can stand up to dedicated cameras worth thousands of dollars.
You might not believe this is true, so this guide will show you some reasons why making YouTube videos on your phone is a fantastic idea, plus you’ll learn about recording, editing, and uploading your content.
Once you’re finished reading, you’ll be ready to create quality video content with just your phone and your own creativity.
Why Should You Make YouTube Videos Using Your Phone?
In the past, you always needed some sort of dedicated camera for making videos. That idea has stuck in many people’s minds even though technology has advanced so much.
Smartphones are now at the same level as many video cameras in terms of quality, and have ton of other advantages.
Here are just a few examples of why you should make YouTube videos using your phone:
- High-quality footage
...Plus a special bonus reason!
There are lots of smartphones that can match the video quality of dedicated cameras. You might already own one yourself.
Here are some examples of phones with great cameras:
- iPhone 14 Pro
- Motorola Edge 30
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
All of these phones have high video resolution, can shoot with high frame rates, and have lots of features for making your videos look as good as they can.
Your smartphone is so convenient as a recording device. It’s always with you, so you’ll never miss any great opportunities for capturing what’s going on around you.
It’s smaller than a DSLR camera or a camcorder, and fits in your pocket.
And it can be the one device you use for preparing, recording, editing, and sharing content.
With a bigger camera, you would need a computer to edit and share your videos, so you’ll also save time on transferring files and making changes to them.
When you buy a smartphone for making videos, you’re not just investing in the camera.
You’re also getting a device for messaging, calling, interacting on social media, listening to music, and so much more.
For the price of a low to mid budget camera, you’re getting a piece of gear that can be used for both your day-to-day life and your career as a YouTube creator.
Bonus Reason: YouTube Shorts
YouTube is pushing one of its latest creations, YouTube Shorts, more than any other feature.
Shorts are similar to TikToks and Instagram Reels, so work best in a 9:16 ratio, the standard for smartphones in the vertical position.
If you want to invest more time in Shorts, then using a phone is easily the best option to do it.
You can gather a lot of attention for your channel with quick, snappy videos that can lead viewers to your other videos.
How To Make YouTube Videos Using Your Phone
You can break the process of creating videos for YouTube into four phases. They are:
With a good phone, you can go through each of these phases in one place. Let’s see how it’s done.
Unless your style includes a lot of improvisation, you’ll need to prepare some sort of a script or an outline for your video. This phase will, at the minimum, include writing a video structure and strategy.
You can have a tight script with all the little details of what you’ll say and where the shots will be, or you can have a looser vibe.
The process of creating a video structure includes:
- Figuring out the main theme, premise and the message of the video.
- Figuring out the audience the content will serve, and what type of message works for that audience.
- Coming up with ideas and notes on what you plan to say in the video.
All of this can be done with a simple Notes app. Write down all your ideas so you can come back to them later. The more structure you have, the quicker you can record and it will likely take you less takes.
Americanbaron is a great example of a creator who makes YouTube videos with his phone. But just because he uses his phone, it doesn't mean he doesn't spend a lot of time:
- Coming up with the video strategy and messaging
- Scripting the video beforehand
- Shooting a video multiple times to get the punchlines correctly.
Now that you know at least some of what your video will include, you can get ready for shooting.
You should start by choosing where you’re going to record. Will you have a plain background? Or will you walk and talk into your phone as you stroll through city streets?
You’ll also need to choose the best angle. Shots from slightly above eye-level work best, but you can figure out your own style depending on what kind of video you’re making.
For example, travel vloggers use lots of higher shots so they can include their face as well as more people in the background or wider shots of amazing landscapes.
At the very minimum, you should be using a tripod for static shots. If you own one, find the best place to put it. You can move the phone and tripod closer or further away from you depending on your needs.
Next, you’ll need to find the best lighting to record YouTube videos.
Turn overhead lights and lamps on or off so your shot looks as good as it can.
Play with the settings of your lighting rig. Open or close the shutters on your windows.
Anything that can make the subject of your video look great by providing more separation from the background.
Once you have the physical space set up, adjust your phone’s camera settings for the best results.
You can edit the white balance, coloring, brightness, and more.
If you’re a vlogger, find the autofocus setting on your phone. This will make sure you’re never out of focus.
Remember that your phone’s rear-facing camera probably has a much better quality sensor than the front-facing one.
If you need to see yourself on screen while talking, the front-facing camera is the logical choice. However, the rear-facing camera will give you the best results. Take some more time to set up the shot and make sure you’re on-screen and in focus, then record using the rear facing lens.
It’s easier to fix all of these points before recording than during the editing process, so keep them in mind when you’re setting everything up.
Once you’re all set, just hit record and enjoy yourself.
Here’s a quick summary of the recording process for you to keep in mind when you’re ready to start:
- Choose a background.
- Choose the best angles.
- Set up your tripod (if you’re using one).
- Get the best lighting.
- Adjust your phone’s camera settings.
- Start filming!
That’s about everything you need to know about recording on your phone. Once you’ve finished, you can move on to the editing phase.
Editing is the process where you’ll join the best parts of the footage you recorded into one great video.
You’ll cut out what you don’t want, pick the best bits to keep, stitch them together with transitions, add text, images and music, and more.
Making these changes can be harder on a phone than on a computer (obviously), especially if you’re looking for something more advanced. That's why you should adjust your expectations on the quality of the editing you can do on your phone.
However, there are still lots of creators who use basic transitions to keep things simple. These can easily be done on a phone.
When editing on a phone, having a good editing app will make the biggest difference.
Here are some examples of great video editors for your phone:
- Adobe Premiere Rush
If you haven’t edited any videos before, here’s a rundown of the basic steps you’ll need to take:
- Go through all the footage and pick the parts you want to keep.
- Trim each video with usable footage so you only keep the parts you need.
- Add each one to the timeline, starting with the intro and ending with the conclusion or end screen.
- Add transitions between each trimmed section. Lots of YouTubers don’t add many transitions as it takes up a lot of time. Quick cuts from shot to shot have become very common.
- Add any images, text, or animations you want.
- Add some music.
- Render your video when you’re ready to upload it.
Not all YouTubers edit their videos. Professor Skye’s Record Review is one example of a channel that includes raw video footage made using an iPhone.
You can see the moment when the creator, Professor Skye, presses the Start and Stop recording buttons at the beginning and end of his videos.
If he makes any mistakes, he just keeps going without cutting and correcting himself.
Keep in mind that this is not the best strategy for video creation nowadays.
Viewers tend to prefer fast-paced and to-the-point content. And achieving that in one take tends to be impossible, and that's why video editing is very likely the crucial stage of quality video production.
What a large number of creators do is they hire video editors, who deal with this part of the video creation process. Creators record all of their footage on their smartphones, upload it and leave the editing part to be completed by a third-party.
This might be a perfect choice for you if you don't have the editing prowess, a good laptop for editing, or simply don't have enough time for it.
Feel free to choose the best editing process for your style and niche. No matter what you do, it can become a staple of your videos that your subscribers will recognize in your content.
You’ve already written, recorded, and edited your YouTube video on your phone? Great job! Now it’s time to share it with the world.
Seeing as you’re using your phone for making YouTube videos, you won’t need a computer for sharing it. You just need to open the YouTube app and upload a video. Here’s how you can do it:
- On the main YouTube app page, click the + (Create) icon at the bottom.
- Choose between:
- Create a Short
- Upload a video
- Go live
- Go live together
- Create a post
- For a standard YouTube video, select upload a video, then choose the right one from your gallery.
- Select Next.
- Add an engaging Title and a Description. Don’t forget to use keywords related to your video (more on this below).
- Choose the Visibility and Location.
- You can add the video to a Playlist too.
- Select your Audience (for kids or not).
- Hit Upload video.
When adding a title and description, you should use good SEO (search engine optimization) practices.
You just need to add keywords like tags that will help your video get picked up by YouTube’s algorithm.
They should be relevant to your theme so viewers looking for your type of content will find the video more easily.
It’s really that simple! With just a few quick steps, you’ll have shared your video on YouTube.
You can then check your metrics and watch as your video becomes a hit. And all you needed was your phone.
Using a smartphone for making YouTube videos tends to be very easy.
Phones are cheaper than most cameras, are always conveniently with you, and can make videos that have the same quality as other recording devices.
You can use one for the whole process, from writing and recording to editing and sharing.
Uploading your videos is very simple. With a few quick steps, your video is ready to be shown to the world. And you can share it easily using the other apps on your phone like Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and more.
So, now that you know how to make YouTube videos using your phone, get creating! Many successful YouTubers with tens of thousands of subscribers use their phones for making videos, and you can join them!
Do you use your phone for creating YouTube videos? Feel free to share your experiences with other readers.